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VIA Rail acquires 28-mile subdivision in Ontario


VIA Rail Canada Inc. has acquired the Brockville Subdivision, which spans 28 miles of single track between Smiths Falls and Brockville, Ont.

Canadian Pacific previously owned the subdivision, local media reported.

The acquisition is aimed at strengthening VIA Rail's network for passenger trains in the Ottawa region, where the railroad owns more than 200 miles of track, said President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano in a press release.

"With recent improvements in the region and ownership of the track from Ottawa to Brockville, we are well positioned to improve our reliability and our on-time performance going into and out of Ottawa," said Desjardins-Siciliano.

Over the past few years, the railroad has invested $20 million (in Canadian dollars) to improve safety on the Brockville Subdivision with the introduction of a centralized traffic control system for train movements. The investment also has improved the service reliability and flexibility with the addition of two new sidings, VIA Rail officials said.

The infrastructure upgrades allowed for the addition of two round rips to the daily schedule, higher speeds and improved trip times. In addition, crews adjusted curve alignments to support increased speeds, upgraded public crossings and installed security fencing for safety. 

Owning the subdivision will allow VIA Rail to have "more agility" to make infrastructure upgrades, said Desjardins-Siciliano.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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